Something I’ve noticed abroad, and hardly ever here, are people moving aside to give another the right of way. It could be anyone standing on the aisle inside a store, and when someone walks towards them, he or she doesn’t have to edge past, but the person in their path moves to a side, because the other has the right of way.

But have you seen what happens here? Just drive by a bus stop. Each person standing there, moves farther and farther onto the road to catch the first glimpse of the soon to arrive bus, and if you drive by, you won’t have anyone moving back, oh no, you are expected to steer your vehicle onto the opposite lane, into the path of an approaching car, risk your life, and those in the other car, while all the while this lot will stand steadfastly rooted to their spot.

I pondered on this peculiar fact today, “Why don’t we give others their right of way?”

And then I see something strange; a road roller heavy and formidable comes down the road, and before you can say ‘Jack Robinson’ or the Indian equivalent, everybody’s scuttled out of the way!

Which means, ‘might is right’.

No might was required abroad, because everybody respected and obeyed the invisible might which was your right; rules, some laid down, some hidden in politeness, courtesy and civility.

And because we don’t recognise such obvious rules here, we bend only to a bully road roller or a bullying majority.

We need to understand that our right of away is enshrined in the Constitution, and today if we see the Supreme Court overworked, it’s because instead of being mindful of the right of others we stamp and step on those weaker, and finally civil and courteous behaviour which should show how we have advanced as a civilized polished country, has to be enforced by despairing judges, frustrated as they wonder what blinds the nation today.

But it goes deeper than rules and regulations, because this giving in to the ‘right of way’ should come from within us.

Heard fireworks and crackers going off at midnight?

I jump out of bed startled by the sound, yet wonder whether those who’ve fired those crackers ever thought of their own parents and grandparents and what it does to their health. Or watch someone sweeping their home then callously throwing the rubbish onto the road outside.

Isn’t there a pang of conscience, a feeling of shame, guilt or embarrassment?

It is time we started working on ourselves, to obey these laws, written, and those not written, or one day we will find the road-roller crushing us out of it’s path is a family member, or friend, because this rot is contagious and highly infectious and will finally destroy us..!

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